Years and years ago, when my cute husband and I had oodles of kid-free leisure time, we decided to take some swing dancing classes. At the time, I worked in a building near Astor Place in Manhattan, and when I looked into lessons, I was surprised to learn that there was a place in the same building. Clearly, it was meant to be. So one day after work we rode the elevator up. We were amazed. There were hundreds of people dancing like maniacs to very loud music, and I’d never been aware of any of them.
I love stumbling on these little subcultures. Go to a history museum on a re-enactment day and you’ll find people who spend hours sewing their authentic-looking clothes, or click a stray link on a website and you’ll read a passionate discussion about something–like, say, elimination communication— that you’ve never thought about for more than one minute. It can be a little bit intimidating to encounter these groups, but their enthusiasm is frequently quite contagious. They love what they’re doing, and they’re pretty sure you’d love it, too, if you gave it a try.
So if you’ve got little kids and you’re just looking to watch something, or if you’ve got a teenager who has no interest in being on any of their high school teams, here are some local wacky sports that you might want to know about.
- Bike Polo: Collar City Bike Polo plays in Troy every Sunday at 1 pm. BikeAlbany also schedules occasional Bike Polo games.
- Cricket: The Tri-City Cricket Club plays May to October near Steinmetz Park in Schenectady.
- Curling: Did you realize that there’s both an Albany Curling Club and a Schenectady Curling Club? It’s off-season, now, of course.
- Disc Golf: All over Albany did a post last summer about disc golf. There’s a course in Joralemon Park in Coeymans, and soon there will be a completed course in Schenectady’s Central Park.
- Dodgeball: Remember the recent attempt for a world record? Albany Dodgeball players play at the Washington Armory.
- Roller Derby: Not only do we have a home team, but the Albany All Stars have a bout tonight.
- Stickball: There are organized games of Stickball in Troy on Sunday and Monday nights in the summer.
Anybody know about some other ones? Anybody ever tried these out?
Oh, and by the way, we’ve still got about four or five good swing dance moves to break out at weddings. Maybe we’ll acquire a few more in ten or twelve years.